x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Bani Yas man cleared of raping 14-year-old niece

Case dropped because of a lack of evidence, court rules.

ABH DHABI // A man was cleared today of charges he raped his 14-year-old niece, then demanded she undergo surgery to restore her virginity. 

The judges of the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance acquitted AS, an Iranian who lives in Bani Yas, on grounds of lack of evidence, and no other charges were filed. AS had denied the incident, which allegedly happened on December 4.

The defence lawyer Abdulraouf Abdulqader had told the court the charges were based on hearsay and argued that forensic evidence showed no sign of assault.

Witnesses from the family, including girl's grandfather, said her mother had pushed her to lodge a complaint because of a grudge dating to before the girl was born.

“The defendant has denied the incident took place in the first place and no evidence was presented against him,” Mr Abdulqader said. “After going through the cross-examination carried out by the court, we are left with no doubts that the story was entirely made up and based on her testimony which cannot be taken as a legal evidence.”

Prosecutors said AS and the girl lived with the family of the girl's grandfather, along with other family members, including AS’ daughters.

AS was alleged to have raped the girl after finding her sleeping in the bedroom of one of his daughters and told her he was willing to pay Dh10,000 to Dh20,000 to restore her virginity.

According to the victim, her father asked her to drop the case, marry AS for 15 days, then divorce him.

hhassan@thenational.a